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  1. #1
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Remote Deep Sand Bed, Miracle, Myth or Mistake?

    i decided to start a thread to keep this information together so it won't have to be repeated in several threads.

    first off, this method was introduced by much wiser men than myself years and years ago and more recently brought to the forefront again by Anthony Calfo. i am just trying to pass on another useful tool ( that i have had success with ) in the battle against nitrates.

    most reefers know of the benefits of having a DSB in an aquarium ( de-nitrification ), they also know there are some risks that come along with the DSB ( hydrogen sulfide ). the idea behind having a Remote Deep Sand Bed ( RDSB ) is that if there is ever any problem the DSB can be removed from the system. another bonus is that you don't need to give up 1/4 of your display to sand and the sand can easily be replaced with out releasing anything back into the tank.

    basically all you need is some sand kept in the dark with water flow over top but here's a bit more info ....

    Flow rate: enough to keep any solids in suspension but the longer the dwell time the better. by pre-filtering using a filter bag like these from Wickedfrags as water enter your sump, you should be able to keep solids out of the RDSB. the depth of water should be a few inches ( 2" - 4" )

    Sand: sugar fine oolite is best suited for this. oolite sand is usually either aragonite or calcite which will help with buffering ( great for a BB tank ) and its shape helps to prevent clumping. but..... by keeping solids out of the RDSB you should be able to prevent clumping using something even as rough as silica sand. the smaller the grain the more surface area available to host bacteria. if you were to use a larger grained sand you could use more volume to increase the surface area. 8" - 12" would be a good depth of sand.


    in my setup i used 60lbs of sugar fine oolite sand and since it cycled almost 2 years ago i haven't had any measurable nitrates other than by being lazy. ( not cleaning refugium ) and even then it was only 1 - 2 ppm which quickly went away with some TLC to the sump / refugium. i am going to replace my RDSB this winter by installing a new bucket, waiting for the cycle then disconnecting the old one. hopefully there should be no spike but i'll be watching.

    this can't replace your skimmer, good feeding habit, having LR, water changes or maintaining a reasonable bio-load but it can help to keep your nitrates at a controllable level.

    i posted this in the reef discussion forum because i am sure their are people that don't like or believe this method works. i have had good success with it and would like to hear others opinions or results?
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    remote sandbed is just fine if you have the space. reefers were doing this at first mostly because of the fears started about DSB's been a timebomb of nutrients etc.. if they started having issues they could just take the sandbed offline and recharge it. IMO if the bioload is kept decent you should never have an issue

  3. #3
    Senior Member BIGGUNSAR's Avatar
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    a4twenty I am building the RBSD this weekend. what are the parts called?

    The parts that mount onto the bucket. Bulkheads I guess?

    what are they exactly called? cause the hardware people in the caymans are moronic at best.

    So if I get the exact names, then I can tell them the part name and if they still dont' know it. Well at least I can try to explain it then. Cause even with the names, these people are not that bright.

    I want the kind that latch on to a garden hose type thinga majigys
    I am goign to buy a maxijet 1200 and use a Instant oceans bucket. I am going to seal it airtight and make a closed loop system.

    But i need to know the parts names.
    1. rubber washers.
    2. get a drill with a bit that does holes. entire cookie cut out holes. same size as the plastic things that I screw on.
    3. ?

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    90 gal tank
    200 gal power fussion skimmer

    1 firefish, 1 wrasse, 1 juvi yellow tang, 1 watchman gobi
    70 pounds free Live sand,200 pounds free Live rock
    1 power heads,

  4. #4
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    yes, they are called bulkheads. you can check with the hardware store but you might have better luck at a farm or aquarium store.



    they do make curved ones that would work better on a round bucket but you may not be able to find them. they will come with the proper rubber gasket, the only thing you have to do is make sure the gasket goes on the flange side and not the nut side and don't over tighten it. also it is best to use a larger bulkhead on the return side of the RDSB.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGGUNSAR View Post
    I want the kind that latch on to a garden hose type thinga majigys

    it sounds like you want to use barbed fittings that you should be able to get in either threaded ( use teflon ) or direct glue on the other end, depending on what the bulkheads have inside. and i wouldn't use garden hose, they have nasty gunk on the inside. i used that clear ( i think it's vinyl ) tubing from HD in the plumbing section. you have to make sure that it can't kink by using nice gradual bends. i just taped all around the exterior with hockey tape to block out the light. use SS gear clamps to attach the tubing or nylon zip ties in the tank to prevent any rust from getting in your system. i know SS doesn't rust but if you or anyone else has used steel tools on them they can rust. on the return side i used rigid PVC and an elbow to direct the water back into the sump but i have been thinking a 'T' would be better.


    Quote Originally Posted by BIGGUNSAR View Post
    I am goign to buy a maxijet 1200 and use a Instant oceans bucket. I am going to seal it airtight and make a closed loop system.

    you need to be careful doing this, it would be better if you could use a gravity return system.

    the big problem is pressure from the pump and head pressure ( if you use the bucket below the tank ) on both sides. if the lid or bucket fails you will have water everywhere, from the pump and from the syphon created. that's why mine is a little higher than the sump and feeds back using gravity.

    another big problem with sealing the container is you can't see inside to check if anything is going wrong. if the sand bed is getting contaminated with detritus and you don't know about it the RDSB will start increasing nitrates instead of reducing. i like to stick my nose in every once in awhile too, just to check for any HS ( hydrogen sulfide, smells like rotten eggs ) seeing as my RDSB is nearing 2 years old.


    Quote Originally Posted by BIGGUNSAR View Post
    2. get a drill with a bit that does holes. entire cookie cut out holes. same size as the plastic things that I screw on.
    your going to want the holes a little bigger than the narrow end of the bulkhead, they should say right on them what size to drill. i'm not sure what tools you have or have access to but you could probably do it with a dremel or similar tool so you don't have to buy hole saws.

    for mine i used a square bucket and a 3/4" bulkhead on the in side and a 1" on the out. i ended up reducing the 3/4" to 1/2" and on my next version i will have 2 1" bulkheads on the out side.




    Quote Originally Posted by BIGGUNSAR View Post
    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    no problem, i hope it works as good for you as it did for me.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

  5. #5
    Senior Member BIGGUNSAR's Avatar
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    well then, this in itself is a problem. there are no farms on this island. ANd I am almost sure that my LFS does not have bulkheads.

    So I am going to have to rig up something. Perhaps plastic type "bulkheads" from the plumbing section.

    Rats, I thought it was going to be easy.

    You have to understand, I am on an island, and it's not so easy to get stuff on the island.

    hard to find things in the US or canada are impossible here.

    moderately easy things in the US or canada, are hard to find on the island.

    We have no walmarts, or other chains stores here.
    So it makes my tasks for "simple" fish keeping. very difficult.
    But I will try the 3 hardware stores they have in town. I hope they have something.
    90 gal tank
    200 gal power fussion skimmer

    1 firefish, 1 wrasse, 1 juvi yellow tang, 1 watchman gobi
    70 pounds free Live sand,200 pounds free Live rock
    1 power heads,

  6. #6
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    there has to be someone that grows some type of food that would use a large water holding tank etc... i'm sure if you check with any plumbing or aquarium stores they should have something that will work.

    and as much as it sucks not being able to buy the parts easily, it like -15C here with snow. :b14:
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    You could try a few of the bigger online places and see if they will ship to you ie: www.pvcfittings.com

    If that doesn't work, you can make your own:

    http://www.truetex.com/bulkhead.htm

  8. #8
    Moderator ShipWreck's Avatar
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    You could also order uniseals. These are designed for sealing around pipe in round or odd shaped containers.

    Here is a link to one supplier of them.
    Rob
    -----
    Upgrade in the works! Keep looking for an update.


  9. #9
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    Smile

    do you have mail service there? just order them online.
    savko would be your best bet.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BIGGUNSAR's Avatar
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    Well saturday is the day I will let you guys know if i got the stuff.

    No sunday shopping here, cause the island is ULTRA religious.

    fark..it's like living on the moon.
    90 gal tank
    200 gal power fussion skimmer

    1 firefish, 1 wrasse, 1 juvi yellow tang, 1 watchman gobi
    70 pounds free Live sand,200 pounds free Live rock
    1 power heads,

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